Junior doctors in England announce June strike action after Government fails to make credible pay offer

by BMA media team

​Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Monday 22 May 2023
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Following today’s talks with DHSC, the BMA has confirmed further industrial action will be undertaken by junior doctors in England.
A 72-hour walkout will take place between 0700 on Wednesday 14 June and 0700 on Saturday 17 June.

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said: 

“Since April’s strikes we have had three weeks of negotiations with the Government, seeking a deal that fully restores pay for junior doctors after the more than 26% drop they have suffered over the last 15 years. We entered these talks in good faith, hoping that after months of refusal by ministers to meet with us, we would finally see a real offer on the table that would avoid the need for more industrial action and stop the haemorrhaging of junior doctors from the NHS. In that time we have received an offer which is in no way credible or even reasonable for where we are in the negotiating process. 

“We made clear from the very start that talks required a recognition of the scale of our pay erosion. No such recognition has been forthcoming. We made proposals showing our willingness to be creative and work with the Government on how the reversal of our pay erosion could be achieved. In the end, however, the Government would simply not accept the fundamental reality of the pay cuts junior doctors have faced.

“This was made clear when they finally made their pay offer of 5%. Not only is that nowhere near addressing pay erosion over the last fifteen years, it would not even have matched inflation this year. We are not in these meetings to agree to have our pay cut further, and the Government knows that. This was simply not a credible offer.

“Despite this we are willing to continue talking and we expect to meet the Health Secretary on Wednesday as scheduled, where we hope he will bring a credible offer.

“However, talks have now reached a stage where they are currently unproductive. Accordingly, we are in a position where we must call new industrial action. We are today announcing that junior doctors in England will hold another 72-hour full walkout between 0700 on Wednesday 14 June and 0700 on Saturday 17 June.

“And if the Government doesn’t change their position, we will strike throughout the summer. This means we will call a minimum of three days of action every month for the duration of our mandate for industrial action.

“Four in ten junior doctors are looking to leave the NHS, and the health service staggers under a workforce crisis. This is no time for the Government to play games on pay. We have made a start but the Government now needs to get serious.” 

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.